Differences in genetic ancestry and socioeconomic status (SES) among Latin American populations have been linked to health disparities for a number of complex diseases, such as diabetes. We used a population genomic approach to investigate the role that genetic ancestry and socioeconomic status (SES) play in the epidemiology of type 2 diabetes (T2D) for two Colombian populations: Chocó (Afro-Latino) and Antioquia (Mestizo). Chocó has significantly higher predicted genetic risk for T2D compared to Antioquia, and the elevated predicted risk for T2D in Chocó is correlated with higher African ancestry. Despite its elevated predicted genetic risk, the population of Chocó has a three-times lower observed T2D prevalence than Antioquia, indicating that environmental factors better explain differences in T2D outcomes for Colombia. Chocó has substantially lower SES than Antioquia, suggesting that low SES in Chocó serves as a protective factor against T2D. The combination of lower prevalence of T2D and lower SES in Chocó may seem surprising given the protective nature of elevated SES in many populations in developed countries. However, low SES has also been documented to be a protective factor in rural populations in less developed countries, and this appears to be the case when comparing Chocó to Antioquia.